Everyone’s getting a little tired of the constant Twitter discussion, so thank god Chinese smartphone company Honor is here with a fancy gadget to distract us all. It’s just announced its second foldable phone, the Magic VS, and the big news is that this one is actually getting release outside of China! Hurray!
Granted, it’s unlikely to ever get an official release stateside, but at least it’s good news for Europeans, who might finally have a valid competitor to Samsung’s foldables to choose from when the Magic VS releases there early next year.
In lighter news, Google search data suggests that Kia’s redesigned logo has led a not insubstantial amount of people to confusedly Google what in the world the “KN car” is. And finally, if you haven’t checked out the video component of our 4 out of 10 review of Meta’s $1,500 Quest Pro VR headset, I thoroughly recommend it.
For now, here’s a silly tweet:
Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022.
Nov 23, 2022Tesla has a zombie frenemy.
Remember when Umar pointed out that Tesla’s attempt to claim the “North American Charging Standard” was silly ‘cause most automakers use CCS instead? Well, Aptera — the zombie EV brand — claims it’ll use Tesla’s plug for its vehicle. Someday.
Will that unlock hundreds of millions in federal funding for Tesla charging stations, since the law mandates “non-proprietary charging connectors” open to “motor vehicle operators from more than one company”? Not by itself: the Federal Highway Administration’s current plan says each station needs four CCS chargers as well.
Google Messages has started letting some users react with any emoji
Google has started letting some users of its Messages app react to text messages with any emoji, instead of limiting them to the standard set of seven that have been available in the app for a while now (via 9to5Google). The feature’s similar to what other messaging platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and paid versions of Telegram have — pressing and holding on a message gives you the standard emoji reactions, but you can then access the picker to react with whatever you want.Read Article >
The expanded emoji reactions appear to be a limited test at this point — 9to5Google says it’s heard two reports of it being rolled out, and while one person on The Verge’s staff has access to it, two other people who checked do not. Google didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment on the feature.
Nov 23, 2022Elon Musk says SBF doesn’t have a stake in Twitter after all.
After Semafor reported that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried owned a stake in Musk’s Twitter, Musk has been loudly denying that SBF is actually an investor.
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here. But here’s one theory that makes sense to me: that the FTX balance sheet including Twitter shares was either outdated, or like so many other things about FTX, straight-up inaccurate.
An alleged crypto scam involving a bank called Polybius is headed to court
Two Estonians have been arrested and are facing extradition to the US after being accused of defrauding thousands of people out of around $575 million with a crypto Ponzi scheme, according to the US Department of Justice. Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, along with four unnamed co-conspirators, were allegedly behind a scam crypto mining company called HashFlare and a fake crypto bank project called Polybius.Read Article >
The scheme began in 2013 when Potapenko, Turõgin, and the others started a company called HashCoins, according to an indictment, which you can read in full below. HashCoins said it built cryptocurrency mining equipment, though the DOJ says it actually only “sometimes” resold equipment and components that it bought off the shelf. By 2015, though, the indictment says that HashCoins had customers who were unhappy that they hadn’t received the mining equipment they’d purchased.
- Another Apple union election has been canceled.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union has withdrawn its petition to hold a union election at an Apple store in St. Louis. It says the decision is due to Apple’s “anti-union practices and increased hostility towards workers,” according to Bloomberg.
The accusation is similar to one from the Communications Workers of America union, which called off its own Apple store election earlier this year. Both the CWA and IAM have successfully unionized other Apple stores.
Elon Musk proposes letting nearly everyone Twitter banned back on the site
Now that Elon Musk has let us know that he’s totally done with his moderation council myth, he’s put up a new poll asking users if he should let most suspended accounts back onto the site. On Wednesday, he asked: “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” He gave users 24 hours to vote, and so far, “yes” is ahead by a wide margin.Read Article >
Musk previously ran a poll asking whether he should allow former president Donald Trump back onto the site, with the “yes” responses winning out by a relatively narrow margin. The general amnesty poll has been up for less than an hour, so it’s too soon to tell how it’ll shake out.
Nov 23, 2022
OnePlus Nord N300 5G review: fast charging isn’t enough
This N300 5G is OnePlus’ latest budget phone, and it takes the company’s signature fast charging to a lower price bracket than ever before. For now, it’s only available through T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. It’s listed for $228 full price at T-Mobile, but it’s also prominently featured as one of the carrier’s “free” phones with two years of service.Read Article >
“Free” phones are easy to come by, and although the OnePlus Nord N300 has a neat feature that’s rare in budget phones, you can do better. This is doubly true if you’re paying for it out of pocket — there are better options around the same price and some worthwhile upgrades if you can spend a little more.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special turns Christmas into lore
The sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe has set its sights on the holidays. It started quietly, with a black-and-white monster movie released ahead of Halloween. But now, with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney Plus, the MCU has gone ahead and turned the most wonderful time of the year into another piece of its complex and ever-expanding narrative.Read Article >
Now, to be fair, it’s at least a fun addition to the MCU. The special clocks in at less than an hour and is basically a feel-good Christmas story with some sci-fi shenanigans thrown in. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt, doing his best Super Mario impression) is understandably sad following the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), so his friends Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) decide to cheer him up with a little bit of Christmas joy. Problem is, they have little idea of what Christmas on Earth actually entails, so they think a good gift would be kidnapping Quill’s hero, Kevin Bacon, so the two can hang out.
Nov 23, 2022
New York pauses permits for the most polluting crypto mining
Efforts to crack down on crypto’s pollution notched a big win yesterday when New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that presses pause on a particularly dirty form of crypto mining. The law imposes a two-year moratorium on any new permits for certain fossil fuel power plants seeking to mine crypto.Read Article >
In one high-profile case, a struggling gas plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region overcame economic headwinds by mining Bitcoin. Environmental advocates hoped the moratorium would prevent any other gas or coal plants, which might have otherwise shuttered, from turning into crypto mines.
Netflix is hiring for a ‘brand-new AAA PC game’
Netflix wants to make more than just mobile games. As spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, the company recently put up job listings for a game director, art director, and technical director at its newly announced Los Angeles games studio, alongside roles like producer and engineer, for a project described as “a brand-new AAA PC game.” Since it’s an unannounced project, there aren’t many details beyond that. But in the listing for game director, Netflix says that it’s looking for a “creative leader of one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”Read Article >
Netflix’s desire to expand into games isn’t new, but the company’s efforts have thus far been largely focused on the mobile space. Games were added to the Netflix mobile app last November, and since then, the company has released notable titles like Lucky Luna, Into the Breach, and Desta: The Memories Between, with dozens more in development. Netflix has also acquired developers like Boss Fight Entertainment and Night School Studio to bolster its efforts. (That said, it seems most subscribers still haven’t dabbled in the gaming additions.)
Mercedes locks faster acceleration behind a $1,200 annual paywall
Mercedes is the latest manufacturer to lock auto features behind a subscription fee, with an upcoming “Acceleration Increase” add-on that lets drivers pay to access motor performance their vehicle is already capable of.Read Article >
The $1,200 yearly subscription improves performance by boosting output from the motors by 20–24 percent, increasing torque, and shaving around 0.8 to 0.9 seconds off 0–60 mph acceleration when in Dynamic drive mode (via The Drive). The subscription doesn’t come with any physical hardware upgrades — instead, it simply unlocks the full capabilities of the vehicle, indicating that Mercedes intentionally limited performance to later sell as an optional extra. Acceleration Increase is only available for the Mercedes-EQ EQE and Mercedes-EQ EQS electric car models.
Nov 23, 2022
This credit card-sized Continuity Camera mount is clever and affordable
The Elephant Card is a portable mount for Mac owners who want to use their iPhone as a webcam with macOS Ventura’s new Continuity Camera feature. Not only does it fold flat for easy portability, but it also works with or without iPhone cases in my testing and attaches to both my MacBook’s display and desktop monitor.Read Article >
Better yet, it actually resembles an elephant with its tusks and ears creating the mounting points. That’s adorable, made even more so by the mount’s tiny $7.99 / €7.49 price tag, which returns to the regular $9.99 / €9.90 list price after Monday, November 28th.
Nov 23, 2022
This cube can control your smart home
The smart home still needs buttons. Or — in the case of the new $22.99 Aqara Cube T1 Pro — gestures. Voice control and sensors, while useful, aren’t always the best way to turn the lights on, open the shades, or kick off routines or scenes. Sometimes you just want a tactile remote control to do the job for you. The Cube T1 Pro is an updated version of Aqara’s wireless Cube controller that fills this niche with a host of new gestures for controlling smart home devices, while adding support for Apple Home and Amazon Alexa.Read Article >
The Cube T1 Pro lets you push, flip, twist, shake, or tap the cube to activate your gadget or scenes. It shows up as six wireless buttons in HomeKit and six motion sensors in Alexa. From here, you can tie each side to a different smart device or scene.
Nov 23, 2022
Hands on with Honor’s new Magic VS foldable, its first releasing outside China
The Honor Magic VS is a new foldable smartphone from the former Huawei subbrand that’s actually planned for release outside China. It uses a similar design to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices, pairing a large 7.9-inch internal folding display with a smaller 6.45-inch cover display for use while the device is folded shut.Read Article >
“The Honor Magic VS will be our very first foldable flagship to debut in overseas markets and we are confident that it will deliver huge advancements, transforming how people all around the world use their smartphones,” said Honor CEO George Zhao. International pricing and detailed release information is yet to be announced, but in China the device will start at ¥7,499 (around $1,048) for the lowest specced model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, and will ship on November 30th. Honor says to expect a global release early next year.
Nov 23, 2022Dril predicts the end of Twitter will be a “cleansing fire.”
Twitter’s greatest poster has shared his thoughts on the platform’s new owner in an interview with The Washington Post. Here’s Dril on Musk:
“Everything he does is a comedic bit. He’s always trying to get a laugh, that’s why he makes all his cars suicidal. Just watching everything burn, it’s entertaining, that’s for sure.”
Wise words.Here’s what Twitter king Dril thinks of Musk’s chaotic reign
Violent protests break out at Foxconn’s ‘iPhone city’
Protests have broken out at Foxconn’s vast iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, central China, as footage circulating on social media shows workers clashing with baton-wielding riot police and hazmat-suited officials. The protests started after workers, who have been under strict covid lockdown for weeks, learned bonus payments would be delayed, reports The Wall Street Journal.Read Article >
Apple announced earlier this month that it expected lower shipments of premium iPhone 14 models due to disruptions created by the covid lockdowns at the same Foxconn facility. Zhengzhou, known locally as “iPhone city,” is home to an estimated 200,000 workers who are responsible for the vast majority of all iPhone production.
Nov 22, 2022
Kia’s rebrand has left many people wondering who ‘KN’ is
When I see the relatively new Kia logo, which is just the brand’s name but in an extremely angular, scrunched-up font with a seemingly connected “I” and middle line-less “A,” the first thing that comes to mind is “wow, that makes sense on a state-of-the-art EV but feels laughably out-of-place on this minivan.” But apparently, there are many, many people whose reaction is more along the lines of “wait... what does that say?”Read Article >
Each month, there are around 30,000 web searches for “KN car,” according to data posted by ad agency owner Ashwinn Krishnaswamy on Twitter. The spike in searches — which seems to come from people trying to figure out if they’d missed the launch of an entirely new car company — started early last year, right around the time that vehicles with the new logo would’ve been hitting the streets, according to The Drive. That data also shows that other popular searches, with thousands of hits per month, include “kn car brand,” “kn car logo,” and “kn carnival car” (“Carnival” is Kia’s name for the minivan I referenced earlier). I also have some anecdotal experience to back the data up: when I brought this story up in Slack, four Verge staffers noted that they had also wondered who “KN” was.
Nov 22, 2022
Meta Quest Pro review: get me out of here
Mark Zuckerberg is betting the entire future of his company on the metaverse. He renamed Facebook to Meta last year, and so far this year, he’s spent $10 billion on Reality Labs, Meta’s AR and VR development group. Reality Labs was not cut particularly hard in Meta’s huge layoffs this week, even in the face of pressure to reduce the investment and focus on the core advertising business.Read Article >
So the Quest Pro, Meta’s new virtual reality headset, is facing a lot of pressure. It has to start delivering on a huge set of promises about the future of work — it’s meant to host meetings, replace big monitors, and create a more lasting sense of connection to other people in VR. Meta has seen modest success with its Quest 2 game console, but the Quest Pro is the start of a new generation of computers: a $1,499 product designed to run Microsoft software and sold by Accenture.